Stockport trust has defended itself against criticism from local MP Andrew Stunell following a Mental Health Act Commission report, which he described as 'damning, to say the least'.

Alongside record-keeping problems, Mr Stunell said the commissioners found that a patient was 'treated unlawfully'. The commission found areas of high-quality service but Stepping Hill Hospital's P4 acute admission ward was 'singled out for heavy criticism', the MP claimed.

'The report highlighted the fact that files were in disarray, documentation was unavailable and there was little aftercare planning. '

He called on the trust to act on the report 'as a matter of urgency'.

Trust director of operations Ann Barnes welcomed the report, which she said 'highlighted many areas of good practice'.

The trust had taken 'immediate action to rectify the commission's concerns' about patient documentation and aftercare on P4, she added. 'The issue relating to 'unlawful medication' of one patient related to a purely administrative error, and we have reviewed our procedures. '

Mr Stunell's claims referred to 'a period about 18 months ago when there was a totally different staffing level and ward arrangement', she said.

A Mental Health Act Commission spokesperson said said the report was the property of the trust, but would not comment further.

A spokesperson for the Commission for Health Improvement said Mental Health Act Commission reports were among the documents requested by its clinical governance review teams, and would inform any review.